Memes and B2B Marketing: 3 ways to get it right

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Raghuram KS
VP of Account Based Marketing

Are memes appropriate for B2B marketing? It all depends on your target audience and brand persona!

For the uninitiated, a meme is an image or photo well-known in pop-culture, with a caption that is often completely unrelated to the visual. It’s a bit of cultural shorthand, and typically, not everyone will get the joke, often making it even funnier to those in the know who do understand the context. Memes are “a massive part of the digital experience, particularly for millennials and Generation Z.” As per Deepak Shukla, SEO director at Pearl Lemon, forward thinking B2B brands should not ignore Meme marketing.

If your brand seeks to reach out super serious profiles such as bankers, regulatory professionals, attorneys and doctors, then memes are better left out of your messaging strategy. However, if your audience is open to humor, then memes are a great way to break the clutter and provide a creative outlet to engage your audience. As per CMS Wire’s Kaya Ismail, Meme marketing is a great way to give brands a more modern personality and differentiates a company from its competitors. The marketing tactic also creates a human element to a brand, makes the brand more relatable, and is a great way to generate word of mouth marketing.

What makes memes tick?

The appeal of memes is obvious. Younger professionals consume more media than their more mature coworkers, but they deliberately stay away from anything that feels like advertising. Using memes to inject a lighter tone into social posts and other communications can help draw these prospects into the fold. As a marketer, it is now far easier to take memes and modify them to fit with a brands message using simple meme generators. You can even create your own memes, but this is often more difficult than taking advantage of the popularity of existing memes.

When creating a meme it’s important to not only have fun, but to tie back to your brand or services. But there is a tradeoff. The brand specific memes that you create may connect better with your immediate audience, but the more generalized topics have a better chance of going viral and breaking through your initial reach.

Immediate Benefits:

In a B2B environment, memes are ideally used along with a specific offer. For instance, give your audience a well designed guide along with the meme and you might be surprised with the results.

• The memes can enhance your reach dramatically which extends far beyond   your social fan network
• The memes, if well designed and catchy, can become viral overnight With   virality comes new leads, likes and increase in several other metrics we track
• When was the last time you had a great organic reach? Well, memes are one   of your best tickets to go organic!
• Memes add a human dimension to your brand and communications. Seriously,   who doesn’t like a bit of humor!

3 ways to get Meme Marketing Right

For brands looking to get into meme marketing, here are some points to consider:
a) Make sure that your memes are relevant to your brand persona

While most marketers know about memes that might appeal to their audience, it can be difficult to incorporate them while maintaining brand consistency.

But as memes become more mainstream, even high-end lifestyle brands have begun experimenting with them to stay relevant and grow a following. Memes could expand your reach significantly, especially if your target buyer is a Millennial or younger.

For instance, memes of Hubspot elicit this point. They’ve read their audience correctly – taking a harmless piece of humorous content, and “remixing” it with a relatable description or behaviour that resonates with their users – marketing and sales people

b) Develop a Meme Library

To develop a meme library of content, you can leverage existing memes or create your own. You can leverage popular meme template collections like those in imgflip or Giphy. Browse through trending meme templates or viral videos, images, or GIFs, and then add an original caption.

Original content is a bit more challenging because you have to source material for the meme, decide on a format, and overlay some relatable commentary. It takes more time, energy, and creativity, but there’s a higher chance that your content will be shared.

c) Move Quickly

Memes typically have a relatively low life span and so brands will need to leverage popular memes within days or weeks of them first appearing across social media. Meme marketing only works well if you’re able to respond to trends within your target audience quickly. That said, the potential for memes to go viral is considerable, and your brand could be the next big thing.

In conclusion, although memes may not work for every B2B company, it’s important to experiment with new campaign forms and channels especially in the world of B2B marketing. B2B professionals like to have fun, just be sure to keep it relevant and appropriate to your brand persona. Adding a bit of humor to the world of B2B marketing can be a great way to differentiate your business and chances are your customers and prospects will appreciate the laugh

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